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If you thought, only genes determine your lifespan, you may be wrong. There are life lessons, which if learnt and adhered to, can add years to your happy and successful life. These valuable lessons come through experienced people who could live peaceful, positive and happy life by sticking on to them in both happy and adverse circumstances.

1. Focus on positive thoughts.

Positivity should be your focus. If so far, your thoughts delved on negative aspects of life, like annoying neighbor, cribbing colleague or your past mistakes, you are wasting much of your precious time and energy and losing on well deserved happiness. On the other hand, if you are focussed on present and future, in planning things that you want to happen, enjoying what present is offering, you will end up much happier and successful. It is all to do with your mind set, with positive outlook, pleasure in your life is bound to grow and flourish.

This quote here summarizes it all, “Watch your thoughts for they become words, watch your words for they become actions, watch your actions, for they become habits, watch your habits for they become your character, watch your character for it becomes your destiny.” It all emanates from mind, positivity leaves you upbeat, while negativity leads to depression.


2. Do not blame yourself for everything

The feeling, ‘I’ may be at fault, is often depressing. Self Pity or taking everything personally will do more harm than good. We tend to blame oneself when things don’t happen as we want. There develops a deep feeling of guilt, which often leads to melancholy. Everything has a cause, but it is not necessarily you, there may be personal reasons for people’s peculiar behaviour towards you. It could be their negativity, but why should you be the victim? So, if you want to keep yourself happy then stop bothering what others say or do, because it is their reality not yours.


3. Never fail to express gratitude

Someone rightly said, ‘ it is not happy people who are thankful, it is thankful people who are happy’. expressing gratitude should be made a habit. people will never forget how you made them feel. By thanking those who are kind to you, will not just make other person feel good but will also leave you happier. Do not fail to acknowledge the good in your life. Expressing gratitude exercises your positivity muscle and makes it easier to remain positive during low times. When you get laid off, a practice of gratitude will remind you that you still have your health or if you have a bike accident, you’ll be especially grateful to your friends and family.


4. Stand up for yourself, demand respect but don’t act entitled.

There is always a choice. Either demand respect or command respect. The later is permanent in nature and is well earned. The former comes purely from position. Imagine being in the position and by virtue of the way you are, you are respected. Isn’t it perfect. However, one will come across people who need to be conveyed the essence of ownership of respect for every human being. In such cases, drive home the point that respect begets respect. Remember what has not been earned is not permanent and that what appears to be permanent is a relative term. Therefore do not get anchored to respect syndrome driven by position or status but be driven by being human


5. Give your 100% and Ask for 100% from everyone, every time.

If you can give 100%, you have all rights to demand for 100%. David Richo’s book, How to Be an Adult mentions that as long as you know you are not on the entitled side (demanding side), being upfront about your needs and wants eliminates a lot of anxiety and discomfort in your life. Be forthright in expressing what you want and how it should be done, unless your demand is contemptuous no one would deny it. Be prepared to take a ‘No’. However, that should not damage a relationship. If someone thinks less of you because you dared to speak what you need, you can always have better people to work with in the future.


6. Be prepared for Rejections.

Rejections will only refine you . As Chris Dixon puts it, ‘ If you aren’t getting rejected on a daily basis, then your goals aren’t ambitious enough’. Getting used to being rejected will only make success worth cherishing. Rejections are boon in a way that they will put you back on the right track.


7. Money serves many purpose

Besides the freedom that money gives, it solves most of our woes. Do not take pride in saying, money doesn’t matter to you. If you cannot take care of your money, you are bound to fall in vicious cycle of borrowing and debts. Which in turn will pull you away from your goals. Prepare a budget and live by its norms, keep a check on your expenses and maintain your savings. Booklets on personal finances can help you in doing so(For a primer, check out this series on financial accounts, budgeting, cutting costs, and negotiating salary and raises, and read about how I manage my own finances.) You will remain happy when your money is in order and your expenses are limited on things we value.


8. Never hesitate in negotiating.

We are often hesitant in communicating the remunerations we rightfully deserve. Remember, even a little bump in salary or fee you are able to negotiate for yourself, will only add to your future income. It will also allow you to work towards your goals with greater ease. It will facilitate a boost to your career prospects, buying a house, getting married, sending your kids to college or traveling. Always negotiate on best possible terms.


9. Begin saving and investing early.

Wouldn’t you prefer a more comfortable retirement, than your youth? Then please start investing early in life. Investing early makes saving money. Many suggestions on early investment come from different experts, ‘If Person A saves $5,000 a year from age 25 to 40 for a total of $75,000 and then never invests another penny, and Person B invests $5,000 every year from 40 to 65 for a total of $125,000 invested, assuming 5% growth, Person A will end up with more than $400,000 by retirement, while Person B will only have $256,000, simply because Person A started saving earlier, even if she put away less.’ For good times ahead, you need to begin investing now.


10. One thing at a time.

When you do more than one thing at a time, you fail to do justice to either. By doing one thing at a time, you tend to enjoy the experience of doing it. Enjoy serenity and peace of nature as you walk. Relish the taste and texture of food that you eat. Avoid being a multi tasker. One needs to make conscious effort for this. In the age tempting distractions of internet and mobile phones, it has become more important to find ways to concentrate on what you are doing. Set timings for your gadget use. Switch off your mobile, when you are working on valuable project or even when you are resting. These distractions saturate mental energy and drain your brain power, which you may need for important undertakings.


11. Accept and enjoy your position

Nothing is static, life can change for better or worse. Learn to enjoy your current situation, if you can do so, you can only make your future bright. Just like a man, who was unhappy being single till his married friend told him how he misses his single days. Every aspect of life has its own charm, so live and enjoy your present.


12. Get a regular dose of nature.

Nature answers many of your queries in its subtle ways, so find some time with nature every day. Nature has some intrinsic qualities to heal stress and replenish life with needed delight. However tight be your schedule, do not miss a chance to make your way out to the park in your vicinity. This will provide you the desired break to rejuvenate.


13. Look within before searching all over

To find a solution to your problem, begin looking for reasons within. If someone is posing troubles for you, it is always better to find out how you contribute to this problem. Once you acknowledge your role, major part of your problem gets resolved.


14. Avoid being part of gossip gang

Someone who is cribbing about others to you can soon be talking behind your back. You tend to waste precious time for not so precious associations. Better make friends with people who help you grow, be happy and at peace.


15. Forget and Forgive

It is sheer waste of time and energy to hold grudge against someone, who actually does not matter. It is wise to completely ignore someone who is making things difficult for you or causing pain, rather than trying to establish their faults. Else, you will deviate from your goals and will be left behind.


16. Give your 100% to every task

There should be no room left for wondering ‘what if’. We often miss out on golden chance by not giving our best to it. By putting your best food forward, you will be assured of being judged on your true potential, rather than half baked effort. There should be no room for regretting later. You will end up satisfied that you did your best. Even if you fail once after giving your best, there is double chances of making it next time.


17. Inculcate daily habits for Lasting change in life.

If your ambitions are high and you want to transform yourself at a different level, it cannot happen in a day. Aim big, but work gradually towards it. Inculcate certain virtues as daily habit to achieve this lasting change. You have to decide that what should begin now to get there. Start incorporating these habits into your life. Gradually these habits and hard work will take you to the heights you always aspired for.